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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The best Pizza

My friend Christie gave me this recipe for pizza.  It really is the best recipe we have ever used.  It is not healthy in any way but my kids all love it.  It uses high gluten flour which I can only find at the Bosche Store or King Arthur flour online.  But for only a small difference in taste you can use regular flour and add in gluten and dough enhancer.  You have to make the dough at least one day in advance but two days is better.  That sounds like a pain but it is worth it and it makes pizza night easy.  You will need a pizza stone and a metal mesh pizza pan.  I found my pizza pan at a restaurant supply place.  It looks like a big mesh circle.

The Best Pizza

1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp sugar
3/4 c cool water
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp olive oil
3 to 3 1/2 c high gluten flour OR 3 c flour, 3 Tbsp gluten and 3 Tbsp dough enhancer

1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Wait 5 minutes.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients.  I usually do it all in my food processor but you can do it by hand.  The dough will be pretty firm but not unyielding like a rock.
2. Oil or spray dough ball and it in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for 2 or more days.  You can let it just rise for 2 hours but it will not taste as good.

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp dried basil or 5 tsp fresh
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp fennel.
Mix everything together in a pot and bring to a simmer.  Let it simmer for at least 5 minutes.  This makes enough for 6 pizzas in my house.  I will usually freeze it in 3 different containers so I can just pull out sauce as needed.

Cooking the Pizza
Put the pizza stone on the bottom shelf of the oven and put the other shelf at the very top of the oven to get it out of the way or just take it out.  Heat the oven to 550 degrees or the hottest it will go.  Let it heat up for 20 minutes before assembling the pizzas.

Let the dough warm up to room temperature.  I usually turn the oven on and take the dough out at the same time.  After 20 minutes, start rolling and stretching out the dough.
Lay the stretched dough on your screen.  Stretch to make it fit if necessary.  Don't push it into the screen or it will stick in the holes while cooking. 

Spread the sauce on the pizza.  Sprinkle cheese on.  I like using Costco's pizza cheese blend or you can combine your own using mozarella, monterey jack, parmesan etc.  Put toppings on.  Sprinkle with red pepper and/or oregano if you like.

Place pizza pan on the stone and bake for 3-4 minutes.  Poke any air bubbles and rotate the pizza.  Bake for another 3-4 minutes.  Check for doneness.  Total cooking time should be 7-10 minutes.